Methodist cleric spared jail in adultery scandal

Rev Elliot Chikwenjere
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HARARE – A United Methodist Church cleric accused of attempting to kill his lover’s husband got away with community service after being convicted of a lesser assault charge.

Harare regional magistrate Temba Kuwanda convicted Elliot Chikwenjere after noting that the victim David Gwaradzimba endangered himself by jumping onto the car bonnet.

Chikwenjere was slapped with 525 hours of community service to be completed at St Martins School in Kadoma.

“It is clear that the complainant contributed to his own detriment by jumping on the car bonnet. At some point, the car was said to have been stopped briefly to allow his wife to alight from the car but the complainant remained on the bonnet in the face of danger,” Kuwanda said.

Chikwenjere’s lawyer Vusani Bangidza had pleaded for the court’s lenience saying his client was a first offender who had family responsibilities.

During trial, Gwaradzimba said his wife Patience Tambudzai, 44, had worked with Chikwenjere at United Methodist Church headquarters for 11 years and on the day in question the couple left their residence for town before the cleric made a phone call.

“I was holding my wife’s handbag and her phone rang along the way and I handed it over to Tambudzai. The number was saved as Nyamakura and their conversation ended with my wife confirming that she would meet the person in Albion Street,” Gwaradzimba said.

“When we arrived in town, I asked to accompany my wife to meet the person who had called her but she refused and I pretended going separate ways. I was suspicious and followed her behind before she got into Chikwenjere’s car.

“I saw them kissing and when I was by the car’s driver’s door Chikwenjere realised that I had seen them. He started the car and swerved to where I stood, hitting me in the process. I held desperately to wipes to prevent myself from falling and he kept driving in a zig-zag manner until he applied emergency breaks and threw me to the ground.”

The fracas happened between Kaguvi Street and Rekai Tangwena Avenue, where Gwaradzimba fell and sustained serious injuries.